Kenya: Tourism Ministry Forms Synergy to Boost Sector’s Growth

The Ministry of Tourism of Kenya has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Amadeus to foster inclusive local economic growth through travel and tourism.

Amadeus is the leading provider of advanced technology solutions for providers, sellers and buyers in the global travel industry.

The private and public sector stakeholders have teamed up with the UN system to improve the access of women and youth from underserved communities to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the travel and tourism industries.

The partners are developing a pilot project in Kenya to which they are inviting travel and tourism companies; and gender and youth empowerment stakeholders to participate with their resources and infrastructure, ensuring the youth earn a living from the skills they acquire.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Najib Balala, said, “Tourism is a key backbone to the region’s economic growth, with a projected growth of 16 per cent by end of 2016. This initiative enables us to empower women and youth whilst building our local tourism and travel industry.”

Balala’s ministry will reach out to other government and non-governmental institutions in the country with competence of tourism, gender and youth empowerment to support the implementation of the pilot project.

Amadeus will engage its travel and tourism partners to bring specialised and business-critical training to the beneficiaries. To consolidate the skills learnt, the travel and tourism companies will aim to provide practical experience and supply chain opportunities for the successful trainees.

Svend Leirvaag, Vice President Industry Affairs, Amadeus IT Group noted the growing significance of technology in the travel and tourism industry and his company’s endeavour to equip communities with new technologies.

UNWTO will enable UN agencies and other key partners to advice on methodology for the inclusion of vulnerable groups into the project and training resources on their socio-economic empowerment through tourism.

According to the UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifae, the project will promote gender equality in tourism and work towards ensuring women access dignified and better paying jobs in the industry.

The MoU was signed at the World Travel Market show in London by Rifae; Juan Torres, East Africa Regional General Manager, Amadeus; and Lazarus Amayo, Kenyan High Commissioner to the UK on behalf of Kenya’s Tourism Ministry.

Upon success, the development methodology of the pilot will be replicated in other countries with similar socio-economic circumstances in Africa and beyond.

Source: Footprint to Africa

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